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post #318 of (permalink) Old 20th January 2007
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VOSA's Response

Well if you are writing to VOSA to complain - already tried and tested this - also to no avail.

My Complaint Letter to VOSA CEO:
Wrote to Stephen Tetlow - the CEO of VOSA to comment / complain about the method and approach that the Vechical Safety Branch (VSB) dealt with my case.

I explained that I already heard that a decision had already been made (in Dec 2006) - via another source - although I commented that I had heard NOTHING from VOSA regarding my case - commenting that the department weren't providing the adequate updates to the members of the public who filed the cases.

I explained a background behind my case, and also added my amazement that I was told my Renault that I had been driving around for 3-4 weeks with a bonnet that was not closed (the very fact that the "bonnet catches were not engaged" (as quoted by Renault) implied that the bonnet was ajar and was just resting - i.e. gravity was holding it down!).

I commented that I was puzzled of this stance by both Renault and VOSA that any results of investigations were not based on any inspection on the cars that the members of the public offered to VOSA, and that it was simply based on vehicles provided for inspection by Renault. Is this simply a biased way of completing an assessment - Renault aren't exactly going to provide a car that has this dangerous feature outstanding - no doubt they would lubricate all of the hingest / catches etc....

I offered a chance for a meeting between Renault, VOSA and myself to discuss this matter together - so that I can hear the justification on how the decisions were reached!

Well....this was my letter, their response (also quite long!):

VOSA's Response:
Hugh Edwards, the Director of Goods Vehicles who is responsible for the VSB department replied stating that the VSB explained the process to me and that it would take time to complete the investigation. [I think he missed my point, that it wasn't the time of the investigation I was complaining, but that VSB made NO EFFORT to provide me updates nor show any respect in that they were continually PUSHING Renault for answers - it gave the impression that Renault was more powerful and was driving VSB on timings, actions etc!]

He quoted that the VSB "carred out a contemoraneous investigation of vehicles of the similar make and model and of similar age" to mine. Implying that I already had been made aware of the finings. [Ummm...what gave him this idea? I haven't received NOTHING from VOSA until this week.]

The second part of this point noted that "there was no evidence of a design or manufacturing defect with the bonnet / safety catches" and therefore the case did not fall under the Code of Practise on Vehicle Safety Defects. In short that are implying and singing the same tune as that of Renault - that it was the person who last opened the bonnet didn't do so properly. That is we (each and everyone one of us!) are all stupid and incompetent in closing a simple mechanism of closing a bonnet! C'mon!!!! (I am stopping short of quoting to the classic McEnroe quote here!)

He went on to advise a meeting was scheduled for 9th Jan (i.e. earlier this month), where the outcome of this investigation was presented to Renault Paris - therefore implying there was nothing more VOSA could do!

He then advised that although it took time to get to this stage (yes over 10 months!!) - this is line with VOSA's policies of looking into such cases. There was nothing out of the norm! Then why are the VSB incompetent of completing a more thorough investigation with the vehicles that actually experience the incidents. [Surely using the Renault 'supplied cars' is slightly bias, and of course will prove that there is nothing wrong with the mechanism - I can just see the mechanics spraying WD40 all over the catches and lock mechanism!]

The last point made me laugh -- "I am informed that you have received fairly regular updates from Mr Jenkins, by email and telephone calls, of where we are with the investigation, and am satisifed that VSB have appraised you of the situation." Too words - 'yeah right!!!' I instigated all requests for updates, VSB made no effort to contact me! I received one letter acknowleding the filing of the case, and two letters now, one this letter and one this week on the results / closure of my case!

Who is in who's pocket here? After all this is the DoT department.

I wonder what communications they have had with Renault UK and France? Michelle, need some help to obtain these transcripts under the FoI - thanks!

Also, VOSA have advised me that they don't issue reports, and are not under the obligation to provide anything further apart from their letter response!

Your views all?


Aaron Brigatti
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